The Altarpiece Of St Clare Analysis

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The Altarpiece of St. Clare: A Visual Biography The Altarpiece of St. Clare was created by an anonymous artist around 1280. The media used in this piece are tempera paint and wood. This was a common choice among artist during the middle ages. (Davies, 279) The subject matter of this painting is St. Clare of Assisi, one of the first followers of St Francis of Assisi. Her portrait, which is in the center of the painting, is surrounded by eight small frames which narrates important episodes of her life. She was raised by wealthy parents, but devoted her life to prayer and unselfishness as a young child. At age 18, she left home, gave up all her possessions, and joined St. Francis in Service. (Web.) I chose this piece of art because St. …show more content…
Although many elements exist in this artwork, these elements are clearly the most significant. The colors displayed in this work are important because of the low intensity quality it provides. This is an altarpiece, placed behind the altar table where people kneel to pray. The artist utilizes several shades of gray and brown, which provides a certain serenity. There is also some shades of red and orange which offers balance and counteracts a dismal appearance. The artist exploits the use of contour to differentiate the eight chronicles that border the central portrait of St. Clare. This approach is vastly different from the visual narratives of earlier times, such as the Royal Standard of Ur. The eight scenes of St. Clare’s life was not in the form of registers like some of the previous visual narratives discussed in class. There is an array of shapes applied in this painting. The shape that stands out the most is the circular, golden halo that surrounds St. Clare’s veiled head. The two angel holding the halo appear in a triangular coiled border. The eight square narratives are very important because they tell us about the eight most significant episodes in St. Clare’s …show more content…
Each component of the painting is essential in completing the visual narrative. Dominance is exhibited in the main figure of St. Clare. The full frontal stance is typical of Byzantine style art; however, what makes it dominant is the life like size of the portrait, Even though there is a lot going on in this picture, the central portrait seems to draw the attention of the viewer. Appropriate symmetry cannot be overlooked in this pictorial. Again, there are eight narratives that border the central portrait. The artist equally placed four framed pictures on both sides of the central portrait. Each side contains three square framed pictures, and one frame that is overlapped with an image of an angle. This variation almost changes the shape of this segment to a triangle. What makes this approximate symmetry is the variation occurs on both

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